Friday, October 14, 2005

Nice start to earnings season

"Happiness is someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for." - Chinese proverb

Morning News of Note:
  • TWX: Time Warner-TWX snubs Icahn's request to spin off cable business-FT: TWX's Dick Parsons has rejected Carl Icahn's proposal to spin off the company's cable division saying the move would do little to increase shareholder value.
  • AAPL: shortage of NOR flat could cause shipment delays and slow sales of AAPL iPod nano in past 2-3wks; rumors that supply shortage of certain parts causing delays circulating for a while -- Digitimes
  • OXY VPI: Occidental to Buy Vintage Petroleum For $3.5 Billion Occidental Petroleum Corp. said it agreed to acquire Vintage Petroleum Inc. for about $3.5 billion. Occidental also will assume $550 million in debt and $225 million in cash on Vintage's balance sheet at the end of the year. (Full Story) WSJ
  • ERTS: EA and Spielberg to develop three new video games Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and Electronic Arts, the world's biggest video game publisher, said on Friday they are teaming up to develop three original video game titles. Spielberg, a video game enthusiast and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, will work with EA's Los Angeles studio on the concept, story and design of the new game franchises. Terms of the multiyear, exclusive agreement were not disclosed. (Full Story) Washington Post
  • Avian Flu: New EU Measures Expected To Fight Spread of Bird Flu Turkish Officials Put Nine People Under Medical Watch in Affected Area European Union veterinary experts were expected to endorse additional precautionary measures Friday to prevent the deadly bird flu virus strain H5N1 spreading from Turkey westward into the EU. Turkish officials put nine people under medical observation after reports that 40 pigeons in their neighborhood mysteriously died, as officials confirmed that earlier bird deaths were caused by the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu, authorities said Friday. (Full Story) WSJ

Market Comments: Strong earnings from GE and UNH are helping those stocks. FDC reported solid numbers as well. But the lower-than-expected core CPI report is what really boosted the market at the open. I think the market is viewing this rear-view window report as indicative that inflation has likely peaked in the near-term, and could moderate.

The news got the market trading higher in the first half-hour, but it has since given up all of those early gains. This is disappointing, but it's still early. I would like to see the market build on yesterday's strong turnaround. But hesitiation ahead of the weekend might keep a lid on any potential rally. We shall see.

long FDC, GE, UNH


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